Undergraduate Courses

Through courses in the Department of Journalism and Public Relations, you will receive training in the professional skills of journalism, public relations, and mass communication, including reporting, writing, editing, visual communication, new communications technology, and collaborative group work. You will study the institutions, processes, and effects of mass media in society.

The Department of Journalism and Public Relations continually examines the curriculum to ensure that course offerings are relevant and up-to-date. (A recent example: Department chair Chris Lamb’s Media Literacy course.) Below is a list of all courses offered to undergraduates. Not all are offered every semester. For specific courses offered in each semester, see the Schedule of Classes at Student Central.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IU is currently offering adjusted modes of instruction. Learn more at Student Central.

Introductory courses

J110 Foundations of Journalism and Mass Communication (3 cr.) Survey of the institutions of journalism and mass communication, their philosophical foundations, history, processes, economic realities and effects. (PUL 5, 6)

J150 An Introduction to Sports Journalism: Controversy, Conflict & Characters (3 cr.) This course will explore the state and practice of sports journalism, through case studies of some of this decade’s most controversial sports stories. We will explore these issues through evaluating coverage, reading related texts and talking directly to prominent sports journalists, executives and athletes. (PUL 2, 3, 5)

J219 Introduction to Public Relations (3 cr.) Provides an overview of public relations and introduces theory and practice of the field. Topics include the relationship between public relations and marketing, the history and development of public relations, media relations, measurement and assessment methods, ethics, and law. (PUL 5, 6)

Advanced courses

J200 Reporting, Writing and Editing I (3 cr.) P: W131 or W140. Working seminar stressing the creation of journalistic stories for diverse audiences. Students will learn to develop story ideas, gather information, combine visual and verbal messages, and to write and edit news. (PUL 1A, 1C, 2)

J210 Visual Communication (3 cr.) Theories of visual communications including human perception, psychology of color and principles of design. Application of those theories to photography, video and graphic design in news communication. (PUL 1A, 3, 6)

J300 Communications Law (3 cr.) P: Sophomore standing. History and philosophy of laws pertaining to free press and free speech. Censorship, libel, contempt, obscenity, right of privacy, copyright, government regulations, and business law affecting media operations. Stresses responsibilities and freedoms in a democratic communications system. (PUL 3, 1A, 4)

J315 Feature Writing (3 cr.) P: J200 or permission of instructor. Emphasis on developing story ideas, identifying sources, organizing materials, and planning and outlining the story. Techniques for capturing the reader’s interest. (PUL 1A, 1C, 5)

J320 Principles of Creative Advertising (3 cr.) Analysis of strategy employed in developing creative advertising, with emphasis on role of the copywriter. Research, media, legal aspects, ethical standards as they apply to the copywriting functions. Place of the creative function within the advertising agency and the retail business. (PUL 3, 6, 2)

J321 Principles of Public Relations (3 cr.) Students are introduced to the creative integration of advertising and public relations as a mass media campaign tool. Topics include the role of integrated communications in marketing and media, an examination of current practice, and the creative process of a campaign, including planning strategies and media characteristics. (PUL 3, 6, 2)

J340 Public Relations Tactics and Techniques (3 cr.) P: J219. Covers a wide variety of knowledge and skills needed by entry-level public relations practitioners. Topics include media relations, community relations and internal communications. (PUL 3, 1C, 2)

J341 Newspaper Reporting (3 cr.) P: J200 and J210. Techniques of gathering, analyzing, and writing news. Practice in interviewing, observation, and use of documentary references that include computer information retrieval and analysis skills. (PUL 1A, 1C, 3)

J343 Broadcast News (3 cr.) P: J200 and J210. Techniques of gathering, analyzing, and writing news and features for broadcast. Practice in interviewing, observation, and use of documentary references that include computer information retrieval and analysis skills. (PUL 1C, 1A, 2)

J344 Photojournalism Reporting (3 cr.) P: J200 and J210. This is an introductory photojournalism course focusing on the basics of light, camera operation, and the use of chemical and digital darkrooms. It includes instruction in spot news and feature photography as well as instruction in ethics, privacy and law. (PUL 1A, 3, 6)

J345 Sports Journalism Writing (3 cr.) P: J150, J200 and J210. This class will offer an overview of sports writing from its origins to its current status in the twenty-first century. The course will teach students fundamentals of the sports-writing process from information gathering and interviewing to writing and editing copy. Students will gain requisite skills for working in today’s sports departments and will write and publish stories on IUPUI athletics and area professional teams and events. (PUL 1A, 1C, 3)

J351 News Editing (3 cr.) P: J200 and J210. Workshop in fundamentals of editing newspapers, including both individual and team projects. Emphasis on news judgment, fairness, accuracy, editorial balance, and language usage. Practice in writing news summaries, editing copy, writing headlines, laying out pages, and using computer editing technology. (PUL 1A, 1C, 2)

J353 Advanced Broadcast News (3 cr.) P: J200, J210 and J343. Continuing workshop in reporting, writing and editing for broadcast. Individual and team functions are stressed. Emphasis on news judgment, fairness, accuracy, editorial balance and language usage. Practice in editing copy, audio and video tape. (PUL 1A, 3, 6)

J354 Photojournalism Editing (3 cr.) P: J344 or permission of instructor. Workshop on the role and function of the print media picture editor. Theory and practice of picture editing skills including assigning, selecting, cropping, writing captions and blurbs, producing informational graphics, designing photo pages, editing by computer, and managing. (PUL 1A, 3, 5)

J360 Journalism Specialties (1-3 cr.) Topical course dealing with changing subjects and material from semester to semester. Course may be repeated once for credit.

J361 Issues in Sports Journalism (3 cr.) P: J150. This upper-level course will study sports journalism’s key policies, trends and issues. It will examine sociological, political, legal, ethical and technological issues in college and professional sports. It will focus on current events and controversies in the world of sports journalism. This course will discuss the symbiotic relationship between sport media and race, gender, doping, steroids, sexuality and homophobia, politics and nationalism, sports fans, loyalty and violence, disability in sport and other provocative issues. (PUL 5, 6, 4)

J390 Public Relations Writing (3 cr.) P: J200 and J219. A comprehensive survey of corporate publications from newsletters to corporate magazines, tabloids and annual reports with an emphasis on layout and design. Includes refreshing writing skills with review on interviewing and editing. (PUL 1A, 1C, 3)

J400 Careers in Public Relations (1 cr.) P: Junior standing or above. Prepare for job or internship searches. Polish your resume and portfolio. Learn how to write impressive cover letters. Practice interviewing skills. Understand how to articulate your abilities and experiences to market yourself to potential employers. (PUL 1A, 1C, 2)

J402 Careers in Journalism (1 cr.) P: Junior standing or above. Prepare for job or internship searches. Polish your resume and portfolio. Learn how to write impressive cover letters. Practice interviewing skills. Understand how to articulate your abilities and experiences to market yourself to potential employers. (PUL 1A, 1C, 4)

J409 Media Management (3 cr.) Research seminar that examines techniques and processes used in managing media organizations. Through discussions, case analysis and group projects, the course explores organizational missions and social responsibilities, market analysis technique, personnel management issues and budgeting. (PUL 3, 1C, 1B)

J410 The Media as Social Institutions (3 cr.) P: J300 and junior standing or above. Examination of the functions and impact of the mass media in society with primary focus on the United States. Discussion of the values of media organizations and the professional and ethical values of journalists. Critical analysis of the effect of political, economic, and cultural factors on the operation of the media. (PUL 6, 5, 2)

J414 International News-Gathering Systems (3 cr.) Structure and function of international communication systems and barrier to flow of information among nations. Emphasis on gathering and disseminating information around the world. Study of the major newspapers of the world, international news agencies, and international broadcasting and satellite networks. (PUL 4, 2, 5)

J415 Literary Journalism (3 cr.) P: J200 and J210. A study of literary forms and techniques used in journalism. Topics to be considered include formal considerations such as voice and structure, reporting methods and ethical issues. Students will supplement reading with writing experimental pieces of their own. (PUL 3, 1A, 5)

J420 Advertising Research and Management (3 cr.) P: J320 and J335. Lectures and practice in copywriting, graphics, layout and production. Incorporates psychological, social, legal and marketing aspects of creativity for mass media. (PUL 1A, 1C, 2)

J428 Public Relations Planning & Research (3 cr.) P: J340 and J390. Theories and principles relevant to public relations practices in agency, corporate and nonprofit organizations, including development of goals and objectives, client relationships, budgets and research methods. (PUL 1B, 2, 4)

J431 Public Relations for Nonprofits (3 cr.) This seminar focuses on how a nonprofit organization creates images and how it shapes its programs and goals to gain public support. Assignments and readings are designed to foster a practical understanding of promotional techniques and campaigns using journalistic and other media. (Offered in summer only.) (PUL 2, 5, 3)

J450 History of Journalism (3 cr.) American social-intellectual history integrated with the story of news media development, emphasizing the historical relationship between American social, economic, and cultural patterns and development. Origin, growth, shortcomings and achievements of media. Impact of society on the media and vice versa. (PUL 5, 4, 3)

J460 Topics Colloquium (1-3 cr.) P: Junior standing or above. Topical seminar dealing with changing subjects and material from semester to semester. May be repeated once for credit with a different topic.

J463 Computerized Publication Design I (3 cr.) P: J200 and J210. This publishing design course incorporates typesetting, electronic photo editing, graphics, and page design. Students are instructed in design theory, computer publishing skills, and creative problem solving. (PUL 3, 1A, 2)

J465 Computerized Publication Design II (3 cr.) P: J463. This publishing design course incorporates typesetting, electronic photo editing, graphics, and page design. Students are instructed in design theory, computer publishing skills, and creative problem solving. (PUL 3, 1A, 2)

J475 Race, Gender and the Media (3 cr.) Survey and analysis of how news and entertainment media represent issues of race and gender. History of women and people of color as media professionals and media consumers. Discussion of contemporary problems and potential solutions. (PUL 5, 2, 4)

J492 Media Internship (S/F grading) (1 cr.) Prior approval of faculty member; journalism majors only. Supervised professional experience in communications media. May be repeated, but a student may take no more than three credit hours total of internship credit for the journalism degree. (PUL 3, 1A, 2)

J499 Honors Research in Journalism (1-3 cr.) Opportunity for independent reading, research, and experimentation on relevant issues in mass communications. Work with faculty member on individual basis. (PUL 1A, 2, 4)